Multiply by Francis Chan


Book and On-line Videos

Overview

This 336-page book is designed to assist disciplers to disciple others as individuals or in groups. First published in 2012, the book, along with the free series of videos available online at multiplymovement.com, is designed to be used with very little preparation. As soon as a disciple begins using the materials, that disciple should, in turn, begin using the materials with someone else, thus the multiply effect.

The book begins with a statement: You were made to make disciples. Every Christian has this God-given commission: to go and to make disciples of all the nations. “And yet,” say the authors, “Christians today are not known for making disciples. We have developed a culture where ministers minister and the rest of us sit back and enjoy ‘church’ from a comfortable distance. This is not what God intends for His church. Every Christian is called by God to minister. You are called to make disciples.”

Multiply is set up like a workbook with short chapters followed by study questions. It gives a new believer a basic introduction to following Jesus using an evangelical framework.

Multiply contains five sections:

  1. Living as a Disciple Maker:  Chan introduces the concept and importance of discipleship.
  2. Living as the Church: Chan sets disciple-making in the context of the local church.
  3. How to Study the Bible: After showing why Christians must study the Bible, Chan encourages Christians to do so prayerfully, obediently and logically.
  4. Understanding the Old Testament:  In nine chapters, Chan shares the sweep of the Old Testament from Creation to prophecy.
  5. Understanding the New Testament:  Six chapters show the progress of Christianity from the birth of Jesus to the coming return.

Strengths

1. The beauty of using Multiply is its comprehensive theological framework. The material gives an overview of the Old and New Testaments that ties the whole Bible together.

2. Some discipleship movements in the past have given elite status to celebrity leaders. It has not been uncommon for these leaders to set up unhealthy leadership patterns (with little accountability at the top of course). However, such a celebrity status was not encouraged by the authors.

3. Multiply also focuses on the importance of involvement in the church. Tying discipleship into the local church structure allows all of the gifts within the body to naturally enrich the new believer. Corporate worship should be a companion to 1:1 disciple making.

 

Weaknesses/Challenges

1.  The emphasis on making disciples rapidly brings network marketing principles to mind. Jesus and the Apostle Paul seem to emphasize quality over quantity and give priority to establishing churches as an essential part of discipleship.

2.  Since the modern idea of discipleship is often intensely individualistic, any materials used must guard against this tendency. In fairness, the authors of Multiply did give some emphasis to the concept of community. However, it is easy for people to recontextualize what they read into their own experience and remain individualistic in their style.

 

For more information, go to http://www.multiplymovement.com/